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The Break of Noon: A Play (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. November 2010

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Taschenbuch, 1. November 2010
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x99edf57c) von 5 Sternen 6 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x99c98180) von 5 Sternen Lies, Leather and the Mystery of Faith 28. September 2010
Von Ian - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
To my tastes, Neil Labute's work is at it's strongest when dealing with themes of the unknowable. In IN THE COMPANY OF MEN Chad was the embodiment of modern day evil. In BASH we get a similar sense of people struggling against forces beyond their understanding (faith, fate and sin), and in his short monologue play I LOVE THIS GAME we're treated to the story of a man looking back at the beauty of human life having carelessly lost his own. In his latest work Labute confronts the theme head-on with a cast of recognizable main characters (the jerk, the wife, the mistress) as well as several colorful secondary-characters that feel new within his corpus (the dominatrix, the detective, the tv host). The play is fast, funny, vicious, and mysterious in a way that seems to recall the short stories of Flannery O'Connor.

As for the plot, it's pretty simple: After surviving one of the worst office shootings in American history, John Smith struggles to find redemption from his previously sinful life as well as to convince the world that it was God who intervened and saved him. The detective assigned to the case doesn't believe John about God and nor does anyone else. At one point his wife says: "God doesn't mean anything to us anymore, he's the boogeyman, that's all..." It also doesn't help that John is simply not that adept at being good. In his attempt to pass on some information to the daughter (a dominatrix) of a murdered co-worker he winds up becoming a leather-clad client. John stumbles and trips throughout the rest of his journey, lying at some point to just about everyone he encounters before finally offering full disclosure. The ending is elegant, mysterious (there's that word again) and surprising without quite feeling like a "twist."

People who have struggled with the cruelty of Labute's other works won't be converted by this play. Indeed, it's nastier than most and I imagine that the very idea of empathizing with such a flawed individual will offend some. But that's the point and the play revels in these feelings of moral-ambivalence, conflict and confusion. To fans of his previous work, and people interested in tough, probing literature this is highly recommended.
HASH(0x99c98588) von 5 Sternen the play was better 11. Januar 2012
Von Moni - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I have to say that liked watching the play (saw it in NYC) much better than reading the book. But still it's a good read.
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HASH(0x99c98600) von 5 Sternen Excellent on all levels! 7. Dezember 2010
Von Nostalgia trip - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I purchased a copy of this play to read before seeing it performed. It is very well-written and heightened my interest in going to the theater. Well worth the read even if you aren't seeing it live.
Regarding the actual product: print quality was superior; overall physical quality of the material excellent. Delivery was prompt and without any flaws.
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HASH(0x99c983a8) von 5 Sternen What's the point? 11. Januar 2011
Von A. E. Coulombe - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I know some people find this quality endearing in LaBute's work, but like many of his plays, I find this one starts with a great premise and goes nowhere with it. I saw this play in New York with David Duchovny, and even gave it a read over in a bookstore to see if the text itself somehow brought another layer of depth. It did not.

The beginning is great-- an excellent monologue that hooks and draws you right into the plight of this character. As it progresses, cliche after cliche and a series of one-dimensional characters coupled with the flat, boring, protaganist do little to entertain or whet an intellectual appetite.

I am deeply curious how Neal LaBute became such a well-known/respected writer. Yes, I know he's divisive, and yes he picks controversial topics, but I don't think he explores them at enough depth to cause any real debate. Maybe that IS the controversy.
'Fat Pig' at least left one thinking about how much it sucks that our society treats people so terribly if they happen to be dating an unattractive/overweigt person (even if they are truly in love). The hilarious but awful comic sidekick was a great contrast for that. Here, there just wasn't enough antagonism to make me care about the hero much, and there's inconsistency and ambiguity in terms of his connection with God and religion that I don't think was intentional.


The ending is was so strange I just don't know what to make of it. He starts to levitate. So what? Is that just how he feels? Did it actually happen? Is he about to be beamed up?? There wasn't any revelation or major reversal. Sure, there was a fuller explanation of the story of what happened in the office shooting, but there was no discovery. Nothing new was brought to light. Ok, he had a gun in his mouth. I wanted to hear something like he cried or begged the guy not to hurt him, or gave him a candy bar offhand one day which made the guy like him, or even participated somehow in the shooting because he also secretly hated all of his coworkers. Anything to make the audience reflect back on the show and look at what took place through a new lens. I didn't really believe based on what I saw/was written that a sympathetic, intelligent person found this connection with God.

Maybe the show could have worked and what started as just a thrill at surviving and feeling it was a miracle led to something bigger and grander, like having his own church/show (hinted at) or finding a new career or doing something insane like declaring war on another religion, but the idea of being the sole survivor of an office shooting by coincidence (and not even a very believable one) was not enough of a crux to carry the entire show, which basically half-heatedly analyzed the IMMEDIATE repercussions of this on a pretty boring man's life.

So what do I get out of this? Be nice to people. Or they might shoot up a place and kill everyone. Except one person who for no particular reason is protected by God. I mean geez, the protaganist could have at least embraced that role more and come out with a more interesting message, or read up on his bible and started to really show he was into the role.

Here's a different take: exactly the same premise, but instead of God saying `be good to people', God says to him `grow massive amounts of peanuts and feed everyone in your town out of the goodness of your heart' and then there's a famine or something that kills everything except nuts. Its just as arbitrary. Or maybe that becomes a cover-up for again, a more interesting truth like the fact that he aided this guy in the office murders and is just trying to ease his conscience. There are interesting topics here worthy of discussion. Religion. Born-agains. Rediscovery. Relationships with coworkers and loved ones. What if everyone you knew suddenly died? Survivors guilt. And none of them were explored to any real level of satisfaction or thought-provosion (word?). Come on Mr. LaBute, we deserve more.
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HASH(0x99c98ac8) von 5 Sternen Overrated like Labute 2. November 2013
Von KMJ - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I think this play is overrated like just about all of Labute's work is. This play is touted as being an edgy social commentary on current shootings and the religious implications that follow in our current media obsessed culture. The play, however, falls short. The main character is an obnoxious whiner who, just like all of Labute's leading male characters, just can't quite seem to figure out how to stand up for himself or take courage in what he believes. He's constantly wavering back and forth, and, again as typical of his plays, lets the female characters walk all over him. Add in a clunky scene with a prostitute, a poorly written interview with a television host, a confrontation with his wife with whom the dialogue seems like they have not ever actually shared a life together, and a million "...like...well...man...I just...it's just...I can't....I mean..." and overlapping dialogue written in a pretentious manner, and you have "The Break of Noon." I've read just about all of Labute's plays and decided to give this one a chance hoping it might change my mind on him, but, alas, no such luck.
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